The Failure of Model Use for Policy Analysis in Regional Planning

  • Janet Rothenberg Pack
Part of the NATO Conference Series book series (NATOCS, volume 12)


In this paper we bring up-to-date the results of an earlier inquiry into the adoption and use of urban models by planning agencies in the United States. In particular, we are concerned here with the continued application of the models once adopted. Are they incorporated into the routine analytic apparatus of the agencies? For what purposes are they used? The reasons for concern with such questions are many. The undertakings are expensive, using considerable amounts of skilled professional as well as computer time, and often they supplant alternative modes of analysis. We need to ask whether the adoption of models and their subsequent use justify the expense.


Policy Analysis None None Comprehensive Plan Federal Employment Urban Model 
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Notes and References

  1. 1.
    Pack, J.R., 1978, Urban Models: Diffusion and Policy Application, Regional Science Research Institute, Philadelphia, Penn.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    State of the art is defined as the analytic possibilities envisioned by the original model developers. Whether, in fact these objectives could be achieved with the models is a difficult issue to resolve. (See Pack, op. cit., Chapters 2 and 8.)Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Memorandum of January 26, 1979 from King Subregional Staff of the Puget Sound Council of Governments, “1990 Forecasts of Population and Employment”.Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Formal documentation is not available on these analyses. They have been described briefly to me in a letter from Jan Pilskog, Associate Planner, Land Use Planning/Research, PSCOG, July 8, 1980.Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Pack, J.R., op. cit., 253.Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Miami Valley Regional Planning Commission, 1979, Population Projections for the Miami Valley Region: 1980–2000, A Technical Report, Miami, Florida.Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    This process is nicely documented, including the formal techniques, the estimated equations, the actual sub-regional forecasts, in Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments, 1979, Cooperative Forecasting: Round II Summary Report — 1979, Washington, DC.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1983

Authors and Affiliations

  • Janet Rothenberg Pack
    • 1
  1. 1.School of Public and Urban PolicyUniversity of PennsylvaniaPhiladelphiaUSA

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